I take a day off writing and a lot of things happen. But let me get to the most important item first.
In a surprise twist, Steve Nash did NOT go to Toronto, New York, Dallas, or even back to Phoenix.
As John Gambadoro of KTAR in Phoenix first mentioned (and, later, Marc Stein reported), Nash is going to the Los Angeles Lakers via sign-and-trade. The deal is worth three years, $25+ million. The Suns get a package of $3 million and four draft picks (first and second round picks in 2013, second round pick in 2014, and a first round pick in 2015). The Lakers are able to absorb Nash's salary through the trade exception that was created after trading Lamar Odom last December.
Ultimately, Nash wanted to go to L.A. to stay closer to his children in the West Coast, even after he said that he'd have a hard time putting on a Laker jersey in a recent radio interview. Toronto supposedly offered him a 3-year deal worth $36 million and Nash turned it down to take less money and go after that championship that has eluded him his entire career.
It still feels kinda surreal to see Nash in the Lakers. My first thought was that his style clashes quite a bit with the current Laker core. After all, this was the same squad that somehow handcuffed Ramon Sessions into a halfcourt point guard, which threw him off his game. Nash is a much, much better pick-and-roll and fastbreak point guard than Sessions is... and once again, they're going to have to make huge adjustments to make this work. But, again, this is Steve Nash. He's a two-time MVP and a surefire hall-of-famer. They'll make it work. They got a full training camp this season. Nash and Pau Gasol/Andrew Bynum on the pick-and-rolls? Kobe Bryant playing off the ball for Nash? Heck, even Nash and Josh McRoberts on the fastbreak? SOLD. I'm excited even if it is way early in the offseason.
Plus Nash's pass-first mentality and infectious personality will get the Lakers going, chemistry-wise. AND Nash is one of the best shooters of all-time. The Lakers have sorely needed someone that can knock down the open J and someone that can spread the floor. This is the same guy that took the Suns to the Western Conference Finals in 2010 when nobody thought they would make the playoffs and he did it in 2006 when Amar'e Stoudemire was out for the season and Joe Johnson had left the team before the season. This could be Nash's best squad, talent-wise, in his career. The concern, of course, is his age (38). That's always a risk.
Nash's partner in Phoenix, Grant Hill, is being convinced by Nash to join him in L.A. Reports have surfaced that if Hill does keep playing, it will be in Lakerland. Stay tuned.
The Lakers are not better than Oklahoma City just yet but they're taking the right path back. And, again, it's WAY EARLY. But the Lakers are being talked about as a scary squad once again.
As far as Ramon Sessions goes? Well... um... he'll have to find another squad, I guess.
Welcome to La La Land, Steve Nash.
PHOTO CREDITS: Christian Petersen/Getty Images.We're always up late. How about buying us a coffee? Or an energy drink!?